From the upcoming book “The Reasons Your Music Career Is Failing”
Stop Thinking You’re The Next Eminem
One of the first things you learn not to do in the music business is to tell people your the next big thing. All the rookie artists run around regurgitating this idea. These are usually the artists who don’t have a clue let alone a business plan. If you did have a clue and a business plan you would have a different elevator pitch. If you were a new restaurant selling hamburgers and you presently had limited funds to expand, you don’t write a business plan to compete with McDonald’s.
It’s annoying when rookie artists dub themselves the next big thing cause it shows a lack of experience and business skills.
Stop Begging For A Record Deal
Record labels invest in good investments and avoid bad ones. All businesses try to follow this practice, why wouldn’t you? A business wants to make money not lose it. A lot of independent artists run around begging for a record deal. If you are not selling records at a highly profitable level, why would a record label want to sign you?
Most major labels have no unsolicited material policies because of this. Every week labels get thousands of artists begging for a deal and these records go into the trash bin. If you sell a lot of records the labels will notice and come to you.
Your Going To Need A Team
I always find it hilarious when independent artists say they do not need a team just their crew. The music business is complex, an artist will need a personal manager, business manager, booking agent, publicist, attorney, etc. Now unless your crew all graduated with degrees in music business and music law, you’re going to need a team of professionals.
It takes a lot of people behind the scenes to propel an artist to a level of success. Your going to need a team and the best place to start is a personal manager.
Rookie artists expect managers to not get paid for years while they help develop their career. There is no other job on Earth with that expectation. No one is going to work for years without getting paid in hopes that someday they just might. Rookie artists constantly have this expectation. Some even think managers should pay them.
A manager is just that, someone to help manage the affairs of your business. Ultimately it is the artist’s responsibility to make his or her business profitable and successful. A manager is there to help manage the business and gets paid for doing so. If you’re not selling enough records to justify paying a manager you probably don’t need one yet. You have to have a team to be successful but it starts with the artist selling enough records to afford a team.
Bleeding Heart Managers Are Gone
In the old days, there were a few managers who took the risk and developed artists who had just some record sales. These types of managers were the bleeding heart managers looking for a diamond in the ruff. In the old days these guys turned some undiscovered acts into giant success stories. That was the old days, it doesn’t work like that anymore.
The digital market forever changed the music industry and a lot of jobs were lost in the process. Most artist development jobs were cut and labels focused their energy on product development. Labels in the new age operate with fewer employees and have very little time for artist development. Labels are now concerned with finding talent that is already selling well and focusing on developing the product for bigger sales.
The days of the bleeding heart managers are gone. When labels cut the artist development from their process so went away the bleeding heart managers.